1. It certainly is beginning to look at lot like Christmas — though with all the rain this week it’s felt a bit more like April. Here’s to it clearing up and starting to feel a bit crispier this weekend. On Friday night in Bangor, there’s the opening reception for the gigantic All Smalls art show at The Rock & Art Shop; at 7 p.m. there’s a big bill of local rock including Wind In Sails, Acadia, The Banner Year, Cold Mornings, Caster, and Ian Libby at the Union Street Brick Church. Later on in the evening, there’s jazz man Bill Barnes at Nocturnem Drafthaus, Little Rodeo at Paddy Murphy’s and Koostix at the Sea Dog. Up in the Orono area, the Napper Tandies are at Black Bear Brewing, Wyld Lyfe is at Woodman’s, and Him & Her are at the Boomhouse in Old Town. On Saturday, there’s of course downtown Bangor’s annual Festival of Lights parade and tree lighting, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Later on that night, there’s an art opening for the new Black Box IMRC show at the Central Gallery, and poets Arielle Greenberg and Andrea Lawlor read at Coespace. Musically speaking, songwriters Shannon Denbow and Josef Gates are at West Market Coffee, Circus is at Paddy’s, Chris Ross and the North are at the Downunder Club at Seasons, and up the highway, Blazing Beats DJ night is at Woodman’s, and Mike Rodrigue is at the Boomhouse.
2. It’s First Friday Art Walk night in Portland, so after you’re doing enjoying all those pretty things, check out some loud things, like Percy Hill at Port City Music Hall, EDM from Clozee, Psymbionic and more at Empire, the annual Kimmie’s Odd Ball at Portland House of Music with musical guests JGBBD, The Great North Band, Eddy Dyer, Singepole Mountain Band, Rijah Newell and more; the Heather Pierson Jazz Trio plays a Charlie Brown Christmas at One Longfellow Square, and jazz trio Big World at Mayo Street Arts. On Saturday, Talking Heads cover band Start Making Sense is at Port City, Tall Heights and the Novel Ideas are at Empire, 80s cover band The Awesome is at Portland House of Music, Garnet Rogers is at One Longfellow Square, there’s punk rock from Gwynne and the Tonics, Nuclear Bootz and the Bumbling Woohas at Geno’s, and the Ghosts of Johnson City is at Mayo Street Arts. On Sunday, Turkuaz and the New Mastersounds are at Port City, and songwriter Cheryl Wheeler is at One Longfellow Square.
3. On the Midcoast this weekend, there’s some great stuff on Friday night. The Free Range Music Series presents indie artists Starcrossed Lovers and Hollow Horse at Waterfall Arts; there’s also the opening of the annual Handmade Show at Waterfall Arts, in which affordable Maine art is for sale for the holidays. At 8 p.m. there’s the Belfast Contradance at the American Legion Hall, up Route 137 there’s the Sandy River Ramblers at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, and down Route 1 there’s Rusty Hinges at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, and an Americana Christmas performance from John Whelan, Low Lily and Katie McNally at the Strand Theatre. On Saturdaym songwriter Peter Carriveau is at Rock City Coffee, and on Sunday in Camden, there’s the Anne Dodson and friends seasonal concert, with The Quasimodal Chorus, Matt Szostak, Will Brown, David Dodson, The January Men (and then some) Hazel Delehey. Sara Grey, Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen, at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church.
4. Penobscot Theatre Company opens its big holiday musical this weekend, with “Oliver!” set to take the stage at the Bangor Opera House. Also in the Bangor area, Husson University Theatre presents Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” all weekend at the Gracie Theatre, and Bangor Community Theatre’s “Christmas at the Grange,” is set through the weekend at the Ohio Street Grange. Finally, the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers perform their “Grinch” show at the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth — 6 p.m. Friday at 1 p.m. Saturday.
5. There’s of course a thousand different holiday events set for this weekend — from tree lightings all over the state, to craft fairs, to concerts and more. Did you know that you can find a pretty comprehensive list right here on bangordailynews.com? Well, technically it’s http://bangordailynews.com/events, so head on over and take a look. Happy holidays!